Countdown Begins for ASTROSAT Launch on Monday, Sept.28

Countdown began today, Saturday for the 50-hour long preparation for the launch of India’s first dedicated astronomy satellite ASTROSAT after the Mission Readiness Review (MRR) committee and Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) have cleared the way. Currently, Mono Methyl Hydrazine (MMH) propellant filling operation of fourth stage (PS4) of PSLV-C30 is under progress, said ISRO in its latest update.

Loaded on Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C30), the lift off will take place at 10 AM on Monday from the Sriharikota spaceport. The satellite will be placed in an orbit at 650-km from Earth.

Besides Astrosat, the PSLV C-30 will also carry for the first time four US nano satellites — Lemur satellites from Spire Global, which are non-visual remote sensing satellites for tracking maritime vessels. In addition, the Lapan-2 microsatellite from Indonesia and NLS-14, a nanosatellite from Canada will also be carried for maritime surveillance use.

On Monday, PSLV-C30 will be launched from First Launch Pad (FLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.


PSLV C-30 Flight Path


The 1,153kg Astrosat is expected to observe regions in the universe where stars take birth, and also at black holes.

The mission is expected to understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes, estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars, study star birth regions lying beyond our galaxy, detect new briefly bright X-ray sources and perform a limited deep field survey of the Universe in the Ultraviolet region.

ASTROSAT is carrying five payloads to accomplish its mission and these payloads rely on the visible, Ultraviolet and astrosat-glance 2X-rays coming from distant celestial sources, according to ISRO. They include:

  1. The Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT, capable of observing the sky in the Visible, Near Ultraviolet and Far Ultraviolet regions of the electromagnetic spectrum
  2. Large Area X-ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC, is designed for study the variations in the emission of X-rays from sources like X-ray binaries, Active Galactic Nuclei and other cosmic sources.
  3. Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) is designed for studying how the X-ray spectrum of 0.3-8 keV range coming from distant celestial bodies varies with time.
  4. Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI), functioning in the X-ray region, extends the capability of the satellite to sense X-rays of high energy in 10-100 keV range.
  5. Scanning Sky Monitor(SSM),is intended to scan the sky for long term monitoring of bright X-ray sources in binary stars, and for the detection and location of sources that become bright in X-rays for a short duration of time.

astrosat- glance


International customer satellites of PSLV-C30

LAPAN-A2 is a Microsatellite from National Institute of Aeronautics and Space-LAPAN, Indonesia. LAPAN-A2 is meant for providing maritime surveillance using Automatic Identification System (AIS), supporting Indonesian radio amateur communities for disaster mitigation and carrying out Earth surveillance using video and digital camera.

NLS-14 (Ev9), a Nanosatellite from Space Flight Laboratory, University of Toronto Institute for Advanced Studies (SFL, UTIAS), Canada. It is a maritime monitoring Nanosatellite using the next generation Automatic Identification System (AIS).

Four LEMUR nano satellites from Spire Global, Inc. (San Francisco, CA), USA, are non-visual remote sensing satellites, focusing primarily on global maritime intelligence through vessel tracking via the Automatic Identification System (AIS), and high fidelity weather forecasting using GPS Radio Occultation technology.

PSLV-C30 is the tenth flight of PSLV in its ‘XL’ Configuration. The earlier nine flights of PSLV-XL were PSLV-C11/Chandrayaan-1, PSLV-C17/GSAT-12, PSLV-C19/RISAT-1, PSLV-C22/IRNSS-1A, PSLV-C25/Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, PSLV-C24/IRNSS-1B and PSLV-C26/IRNSS-1C, PSLV-C27/IRNSS-1D, PSLV-C28/DMC3 missions. The total payload weight of PSLV-C30 is 1631 kg.

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